Nick Varney

Unhinged: Believe it or not, there’s a bright side

Don’t worry, I’m not going to jump into the COVID-19 kerfuffle.

Nick Varney
Homer’s Mose Hayes pitches during the Mariners’ game against Soldotna High School on May 10, 2018 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Homer News file photo)

The seniors of spring sports: Baseball

This is the third in a series of stories highlighting the seniors who would have been playing their final sports seasons this spring. When the… Continue reading

Homer’s Mose Hayes pitches during the Mariners’ game against Soldotna High School on May 10, 2018 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Homer News file photo)

Refuge Notebook: Recreational safety after the Swan Lake Fire

Residents of the Kenai Peninsula are all too familiar with wildfire after the summer of 2019. Not only did the Swan Lake Fire burn for… Continue reading

A painting by the author. (Photo provided by Erin Thompson)

Out of the Office: Painted blue

I went to Homer a few weeks ago to find blue. For weeks I had wanted to paint nothing but blues and purples, but I… Continue reading

A painting by the author. (Photo provided by Erin Thompson)
Rayana Vigil, left, celebrates a victorious bout during the 2019 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Wrestling State Championships in Anchorage, Alaska. Vigil was crowned the women’s state champion for the 189-pound weight class. (Photo courtesy Alaska School Activities Association)

Homer’s Rayana Vigil commits to Southern Oregon University wrestling team

Rayana Vigil, a soon-to-be Homer High School graduate and Alaska state champion wrestler, has committed to wrestling at Southern Oregon University in the fall. Vigil… Continue reading

Rayana Vigil, left, celebrates a victorious bout during the 2019 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Wrestling State Championships in Anchorage, Alaska. Vigil was crowned the women’s state champion for the 189-pound weight class. (Photo courtesy Alaska School Activities Association)
Skyline Trail has damaged tread as well as hazard trees from the Swan Lake Fire. (Photo by Christa Kennedy/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Swan Lake Fire trails update

Last fall the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge was forced to close eight trails due to Swan Lake Fire activity. Through the fall, all eight trails… Continue reading

Skyline Trail has damaged tread as well as hazard trees from the Swan Lake Fire. (Photo by Christa Kennedy/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Kachemak soils are the dominant soils on the rolling hills in the Diamond Ridge area. (Photo courtesy Doug Van Patten)

A soils primer for Homer: Kachemak soils have wonderful properties

This is the second installment of the series, “A Soils Primer” for the Homer area. This is meant to be a non-technical, for the most… Continue reading

Kachemak soils are the dominant soils on the rolling hills in the Diamond Ridge area. (Photo courtesy Doug Van Patten)
The Homer girls soccer team celebrates its 4-3 win over Kenai Central High School in the semi-final match of the Peninsula Conference Soccer Tournament on May 17, 2019 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

The seniors of spring sports: Girls soccer

“Missing out on so much more than winning and losing”

The Homer girls soccer team celebrates its 4-3 win over Kenai Central High School in the semi-final match of the Peninsula Conference Soccer Tournament on May 17, 2019 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
The view of Turnagain Arm, as seen from Hope Point in September 2018. Hope, Alaska, would be a good meeting place for a date once restrictions caused by the new coronavirus are lifted. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Love in the time of corona

How do you find “the one” if you can’t even leave your home?

The view of Turnagain Arm, as seen from Hope Point in September 2018. Hope, Alaska, would be a good meeting place for a date once restrictions caused by the new coronavirus are lifted. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Photo courtesy Bill Bell 
                                Kaitlyn Johnson plays with her teammates on the Homer softball team in this undated photo.

The seniors of spring sports: Softball

This is the first in a series of stories highlighting the seniors who would have been playing their final sports seasons this spring. When the… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Bill Bell 
                                Kaitlyn Johnson plays with her teammates on the Homer softball team in this undated photo.
Photo by Ronan Dugan/USFWS 
                                Kittiwakes build their sturdy nests on cliff sides, and they prefer to live in crowded neighborhoods for additional safety from predators.

Refuge Notebook: Keeping an eye on birds

Around this time of year I start to include a pair of binoculars in my checklist of essentials for heading out the door on a… Continue reading

Photo by Ronan Dugan/USFWS 
                                Kittiwakes build their sturdy nests on cliff sides, and they prefer to live in crowded neighborhoods for additional safety from predators.

Refuge Notebook: Migration is not canceled

A friend told me recently that March is her favorite month. What? Not May when our birds of summer come home to nest? Nor June… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Nature in a time of pandemic can heal

As I write this I am in my third day of working at home — or, as I like to think of it, an embedded… Continue reading

AP file Photo/Mark Thiessen 
                                In this March 20, 2019, file photo, Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit, of France, poses with two of his dogs in Anchorage. Nearly a third of the 57 mushers in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have quit the race before finishing, including Petit, who activated an alert button seeking rescue last Thursday morning, March 19, because of weather conditions.

3 Iditarod mushers rescued because of poor trail conditions

Three mushers participating in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race were rescued Friday after they activated their SOS beacons because of deep overflows of water… Continue reading

AP file Photo/Mark Thiessen 
                                In this March 20, 2019, file photo, Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit, of France, poses with two of his dogs in Anchorage. Nearly a third of the 57 mushers in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have quit the race before finishing, including Petit, who activated an alert button seeking rescue last Thursday morning, March 19, because of weather conditions.
During this time of uncertainty, the author vacillates between being outdoors and binge watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Lonely among us

I set daily goals to accomplish during this universal pandemic, a different kind of frontier.

During this time of uncertainty, the author vacillates between being outdoors and binge watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)
Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
                                Seward’s Sam Koster passes around Kenai Central’s Kayden Daniels in front of a big crowd March 28, 2020, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. The state announced Friday there will be no after-school activiities until March 30, 2020, due to the new coronavirus.

Schools, sports, after-school events canceled

The closures of part of an effort to contain the new coronavirus outbreak.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
                                Seward’s Sam Koster passes around Kenai Central’s Kayden Daniels in front of a big crowd March 28, 2020, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. The state announced Friday there will be no after-school activiities until March 30, 2020, due to the new coronavirus.

Refuge Notebook: Introducing Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

We’ve probably already met, but you didn’t realize it. We’re the other national wildlife refuge headquartered on the Kenai Peninsula. If you’ve taken a Kenai… Continue reading

Norwegian musher wins Alaska’s Iditarod sled dog race

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Norwegian musher Thomas Waerner easily won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska, one of the few U.S. sporting events not… Continue reading

ACS sweeps Southcentral titles

Both Homer basketball teams placed third in the Southcentral Conference Championships this past weekend in Anchorage. Homer girls coach Chad Felice was named coach of… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Upcoming events Mike Dunleavy, working with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, has ordered the suspension of classes and after-school activities from March… Continue reading